Monday, October 27, 2008
Positions in a Law Firm
It may come as a surprise to learn that Denver law firms tend to be very rigid in their structure. From the very beginning, the law firm has maintained a layered structure that just seemed to work. As the years have passed, there has been little or no change to this structure. If you retain a Denver law firm to represent you in any legal matter, it helps to understand the positions and who you will be speaking with.
At the top of the organization chart is the lead attorney on your case. This is where the buck stops when it comes to strategy, final decisions and problems. The lead attorney is often a partner in the firm, but not always. He or she is the attorney you will probably meet with when you first come into the firm. The attorney is responsible for practically everything on your case, but has a team that does much of the leg work on day to day matters.
Below the lead attorney, one tends to find an associate lawyer. The associate is typically a less experienced attorney who is earning his or her stripes and trying to work their way up to a partner position. When it comes to communicating with the firm on your case, you will inevitably talk with the associate on numerous occasions. He or she will often call with questions related to factual issues and will address many of your questions as they arise.
Next comes the valuable paralegal. The paralegal is not a licensed Denver attorney, but is often very knowledgeable on legal issues and strategies. The paralegal role in a firm is to do most of the detail work. This can include hunting down witnesses, setting depositions, compiling filings and so on. He or she will often share work with the associate attorney.
Finally, the law clerk is a person in the firm that will probably work on your case a lot without you even knowing it. A law clerk is almost always a law school student trying to get some experience in a Denver Law firm to beef up their resume. To pick up practical experience, the law clerk takes a part time position with the firm. The job duties vary from firm to firm, but often are focused on doing legal research on various legal issues. Much of the legal regulation of a situation is determined by case law opinions issues by appellate or supreme courts of the states and federal jurisdictions. A law clerk spends a lot of time in a library reading these as they relate to your matter and reporting the results back to the associate and lead attorney. This is a very important position for your legal case but often the credit is not given to the legal cleark.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The preferred method is to require that the agent's authority is granted only after two qualified medical doctors declare in writing, under penalty of perjury, that the elder is mentally incompetent and unable to make sound financial decisions.
Although still not foolproof, this requirement gives a great deal of protection against financial exploitation. A bad guy must now involve two doctors in order to carry out the rip-off.
It is always possible that the perpetrator will simply have the elder execute a new power of attorney that revokes all prior powers and gives the agent the immediate authority. When family members and friends are actively involved in the elder's life, the crook will have much more difficulty in accomplishing this without being caught.
When the elder has no immediate family or friends, the odds of being financially abused are greatly increased. However, there are still some preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk.
Speak with bank personnel and other financial institutions where the elder's money is invested. Show them the power of attorney and explain that its purpose is to protect the elder in case someone tries to take advantage. Point out the added protection that requires two qualified medical doctors confirm the elder's lack of capacity before the power of attorney is effective.
Ask them to red-flag the elder's accounts by placing a computer notation that the bank personnel should question any substantial withdrawals or unusual activity.
In my city and state (Riverside, California), for example, a law exists that makes all bank employees a mandated reporter. This requires bank personnel to report any reasonably suspicious activity to local law enforcement. In states where similar laws exist, bank employees will receive some training to identify the signs of financial exploitation in order to comply with their mandated reporter requirements.
Many family members hesitate on broaching the subject of powers of attorney, in fear that their elderly loved one may take offence and tell them to mind their own business. Every family has their own unique dynamics. However, you can ease some of the awkwardness by doing some of your own research and sharing it with your loved one. Many counties agencies have informational brochures that explain the purpose in creating powers of attorney and how they can assist in financial matters.
Delaying the discussion often results in no action being taken. Then, when the need arises, it is often too late because the elder no longer has the requisite mental capacity needed to execute the power of attorney.
There is no surefire way to avoid financial exploitation of an elder. However, through education, discussion and assistance with the financial institutions involved, and with the help of a qualified elder law attorney, a power of attorney can be put in place that affords piece of mind that the chances of financial abuse are minimized.
By: George F. Dickerman, Esq.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The attorneys of The Overton Law Firm provide pragmatic and cost-effective representation to large corporations, small to mid-sized businesses, and individuals in Denver and throughout Colorado. The firm is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and all of our trial lawyers have at least 20 years of trial experience.
Our firm focuses on sophisticated trial work in virtually all areas of complex business litigation. Companies and corporations rely upon us to provide sound business counsel and personalized legal services. Employers and employees alike trust our employment law lawyers to resolve a range of employment concerns and labor disputes. We also seek compensation and justice for clients in serious injury and wrongful death claims.
More information about the background, experience, and accomplishments of our attorneys, can be found in their individual profiles below.
Thomas J. Overton
Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy
Since graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Law with High Honors in 1982, Thomas J. Overton has practiced exclusively as a trial attorney. Mr. Overton is certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, an organization accredited by the American Bar Association. Mr. Overton is trial tested. He has been lead counsel in numerous trials and appeals in both federal and state courts in Colorado and across the country.
Mr. Overton acts as a Hearing Officer for the Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Board. He has served on several community boards, including the Denver Children's Home (past president) and the Colorado Intermountain Fixed Guideway Authority. He is also active in the American Inns of Court.
Mr. Overton founded the predecessor of The Overton Law Firm in 1991 after spending several years with a nationwide law firm. His clients include multinational corporations, professionals, entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses, and individuals and families.
Mr. Overton is committed to fighting the battles that have to be fought to protect his client's rights and interests. His experience includes a wide variety of complex business litigation as well as cases involving serious personal injuries and death. Because of his recognized expertise, Mr. Overton is often hired by other lawyers to act as special trial counsel on cases they are handling.
Mr. Overton has been selected as a Colorado Super Lawyer in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and identified as a "go-to" Lawyer by Fortune Magazine.
Mr. Overton is highly experienced in handling contentious litigation. He works closely with his clients to achieve their goals and favorable results on their cases.
Dan S. Cross
Dan S. Cross has practiced in the fields of labor and employment, business law and commercial litigation since his admission to the practice of law in 1979. He is a cum laude graduate of Duke University (B.A., Public Policy Studies), and Mr. Cross is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. From 1990 to 1996, Mr. Cross was Senior Human Resources Counsel at U S WEST. Now a partner with The Overton Law Firm, Mr. Cross has built a successful practice representing businesses of all sizes.
Mr. Cross has been selected as a "Super Lawer" by 5280 Magazine and identified as a "go-to" lawyer by Fortune Magazine.
In addition to corporate law, his practice emphasizes labor and employment law and litigation, and he represents both executives and businesses. His more than twenty-five years of multi-state experience includes labor negotiations, reductions in force, sexual harassment, non-compete issues, wrongful terminations, employment litigation, and compliance with all labor employment laws, including the FMLA, FLSA, ADEA, and ADA. He is a featured speaker to human resources professionals and to attorneys for their continuing legal education credit on employment issues such as drug-testing, executive separations, employee discipline, and unlawful discrimination.
Mr. Cross is acknowledged by all levels of management to be responsible, practical and well-informed. His advice is pragmatic and usable, and he offers aggressive and personalized representation to businesses, executives and management employees.
Richard J. Gleason
Richard J. Gleason has practiced for more than 20 years in the fields of commercial litigation, personal injury litigation, municipal law and business representation. Prior to practicing law, he worked as a certified public accountant for a Big Four accounting firm. Mr. Gleason is a graduate of Colorado State University and the University of Denver College of Law.
Mr. Gleason served as an assistant city attorney for two Denver metro cities for more than eight years. In addition to litigation, he has worked extensively in the areas of land use, construction, and liquor licensing.
Mr. Gleason's practice is founded on his understanding that people engage attorneys in order to achieve solutions to problems and to resolve disputes. He is committed to providing the most cost-effective means of achieving his client's objectives. He knows that these goals can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation, and he is skilled in each of them.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
When cell phones and then text messaging came along, a lot of folks just figured they could drive as safely talking on a cell phone as talking to a passenger. I was one of them. A couple of years ago we began to see reports of studies showing that driving while talking on a cell phone was as dangerous as driving drunk and that text messaging while driving is an even bigger distraction.
The recent train wreck in the LA area that killed 25 and injured 130 occurred when the train engineer missed a signal light while text messaging with teenage train enthusiasts. This may be the consciousness raising event that leads to changes in laws and enforcement practices comparable to what we saw a quarter century ago about driving while intoxicated.
Current state laws on this emerging topic include:
- Cell phones: California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have banned driving while talking on handheld cell phones.
- Text Messaging: Alaska, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington have a text messaging ban for all drivers.
- New Drivers: 17 states and the District of Columbia restrict all cell phone use by novice drivers.
- School Bus Drivers: In 16 states and DC, school bus drivers are barred from all cell phone use when passengers are present, except for in emergencies.
- Other rules: Some cities, such as Phoenix and Detroit, have cell phone laws, but nine states have preemption laws that prohibit local jurisdictions from enacting restrictions. Utah and New Hampshire treat cell phone use as a larger distracted driving issue.
My guess is that legislators around the country will soon pass more laws requiring use of hands free devices when talking on cell phones while driving and banning text messaging while driving.
In auto and truck accident litigation, we have become diligent about discovery of cell phone and text messaging records. With increased sophistication about electronic discovery, this will be an an even more important factor in accident litigation.
There are at least three potential uses of cell and text evidence:
- The defendant's cell phone and text usage while driving may be considered "conscious indifference to consequences" sufficient to support an award of punitive damages, similar to drunk driving.
- The plaintiff's cell phone usage at the time of the incident may be used as comparative negligence evidence to reduce or eliminate a damages award.
- If the evidence reveals that a defendant driver was communicating with an employer, or to a customer on the employer's business, then the employer and its insurance policy may be drawn into the case.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A “GO TO” law firm for America’s top companies
(as listed in Fortune Magazine 2006)
The Overton Law Firm provides aggressive and personalized legal representation to individuals and businesses in Denver and throughout Colorado. Quality legal representation begins with experienced, knowledgeable and trial-tested attorneys. Each of our lawyers has more than 20 years of legal experience. All of our attorneys are AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale Hubbell and we are proud to be listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Two of our attorneys have been named Colorado Super Lawyers® in their areas of legal specialization. The Overton Law Firm is included in the Colorado Corporate Counsel Black Book.
Whether you are a top 500 company or an individual who has been seriously injured in a car accident, your legal concern will receive the attention it deserves from a lawyer who understands the complexity of the issues involved and the laws that apply. Contact the Overton Law Firm to speak with an attorney regarding your legal concern. In personal injury matters, we offer free initial consultations to help you decide the best course of action.
Business Litigation ● Employment Law ● Personal Injury ● Business Services
The Overton Law Firm provides legal representation in four primary areas: business litigation, business law, employment law, and personal injury law. Additionally, individual attorneys assist with other legal matters such as products liability, real estate, disputes, professional licensing, business break-ups, construction law, and business counseling.
Business Litigation and Counseling: The Overton Law Firm represents a broad range of corporate clients, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses. Whether your company's problem involves significant financial transactions or complex procedural issues, our lawyers will work with your management team to develop a strategy to achieve your business goals. Our collective experience and team approach to business litigation can protect your company's interests in business litigation, negotiations, mediation, or arbitration.
Employment Law — Employers: The Overton Law Firm provides counseling to corporate clients ranging from closely-held businesses to Fortune 500 companies on such issues as severance, stock options, non-competition agreements, overtime pay, employment contracts, Department of Labor investigations and union issues. Our attorneys have in-depth experience and are recognized as creative problem-solvers and strategists.
Personal Injury Lawsuits: Our Colorado personal injury attorneys are highly experienced in helping people who have been seriously injured and the families who have lost loved ones in motor vehicle collisions, industrial accidents, or from using dangerous or defective products. We have reached successful resolutions through trial and settlement for clients with serious head injuries, back and neck injuries, and other traumatic injuries.
Employment Law — Employees: The Overton Law Firm's trial attorneys represent business executives and managers in employment litigation. The Overton Law Firm provides counseling to business executives on such issues as severance, stock options, non-compete agreements, terminations, and employment contracts. The Overton Law Firm's attorneys focus their strong analytical and communication skills on practical and effective resolutions to employer and employee disputes.
Contact our Denver law office to schedule a consultation with a Colorado trial attorney at the Overton Law Firm. We offer free initial consultations in personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
If you really need the best tax attorney the first thing that you have to inform yourself of is the experience that the Denver attorney has. This means that you have to know what education he/she has and if he or she actually worked as a tax attorney. You should ask if the person ever worked for the IRS because if he or she did, it will be much easier to negotiate in your benefit. If your problem is a non-criminal issue then the best tax attorney for you is the one that has experience in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel. Even if we should give a chance to people that do not have yet this kind of experience if you have a difficult tax matter the best tax attorney is the one that has worked for the IRS or for another financial authority.
The minimum that a tax attorney should have is a Master’s of Law in Taxation. This is also named the LLM in taxation and it shows that the person studied the tax law for at least one year. The best tax attorney should continue to learn about the tax law even after he or she graduated because the tax law is constantly changing. This aspect could be verified by searching for evidence like articles published by the tax attorney in publications in the domain. Quality advice can be given only by the tax attorney that knows what changes occurred in the tax law evolution.
A specialist is the best tax attorney for you if he or she already handled the exact matter that you have now. When you want to know this you have to put questions to the about the topic that you are interested in and you should start a detailed discussion. You can read more about tax attorney essentials at http://www.taxattorneyresource.com
There are some other general but important aspects that you must consider too when you want the best tax attorney in Denver. The specialist should have good communication skills and should be a good negotiator. In this way, he or she will be able to do the best in your case. An essential requirement is for you to search more than one option when you intend to employ the best Denver attorney.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Most Denver lawyers also don't realize what a web presence can mean for their business. Many law firms in personal injury have caught onto this as have criminal lawyers in the state. That's why the competitive nature of search phrases for lawyers in your state is so fierce.
If your practicing law in any state you can't survive with online recruitment of new customers WITHOUT search engine optimization. Furthermore, unless you deal with someone who knows what they are seriously doing with SEO with law firm websites then you'll just be burning your money by going with a low balling priced SEO expert. This is a highly competitive industry and I'd be very weary of low priced SEO consultants.
Your best bet is researching your potential web designer & search engine optimizer when finding someone or a company to take on your Denver law firm web project.
Here are some tips on finding the right Lawyer Web Designer:
Portfolio: Look over the company or person's portfolio to ensure they can back up their word with their work. If their portfolio looks like all templates, it probably is. They probably just stole their portfolio off a template website.
Original Design: Getting a law firm website to rank high requires a custom design. A template based (super-cheap) way of getting your website high on the search engines will end in failure. Think about it this way. 20 law firms take the same group of templates and use them for their website. Google see's this when you submit your site to its search engine and sandboxes (bans) you from high ranking listings.
Who Are You Working With: Do they live locally in your area? Can you call them during normal business hours? If they don't answer the phone do they call or email you back with an answer or a solution within 24 hours? Do they use proposals, contracts, and invoices? Or do they take the money and run? Are they an LLC, LLP, or established business... or just some guy out of his mother's basement? Don't get screwed and left with a website that does nothing!
Pricing: We live in an economy where people get paid for what they do. When you pay less, you get less no matter who you deal with. An inside tip. Website designers who will charge you $500 or less will typically use a template (a big no-no for lawyers websites) and either get it for free or for pay $70 and then change some text on the website, submit it to google (which takes 10 seconds) then pocket the rest of the money for their "hard work". Established web designers who consistently deliver results have realistic prices that deliver results and bring a postitive ROI for their customers.
Iniquitous is a web design/SEO company in Denver focused on providing high quality internet marketing and web site development services. We provide ecommerce, custom application development, search engine optimization (SEO), flash design and more to Denver, Colorado. We also provide web design services nationwide.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Cases concerning personal injuries could be traumatic enough as it is, without having to undergo a trial. It is most unfortunate, though, nowadays, insurance companies are more daring than before, which was around the 70s and 80s era.
Now, these insurance companies are in favor of the cases going to a Denver trial as opposed to their usual caution before not to have a case go into trial.
Even the propaganda of insurance companies may now have certain effects on the potential jurors' insight about cases. Now days, most jurors coming to court may already have the expectation that they would find a scam or fraud artist who is professing to be severely injured because of a minor incident.
The broadcast and print media have fairly warned the people repeatedly regarding "Jackpot Justice" wherein people could go before the court asking to be rewarded with millions just because of an incident where they have been spilled with coffee, have fell down into a puddle of water in the department store or had a minor fender bender. These cases are usually termed as frivolous cases.
The insurance companies' propaganda may be right in some cases. Probably these cases are not that numerous but are highlighted so that some victims become discouraged in ever filing a claim, much less a lawsuit before court.
Due to these, there are additional challenges for a Denver trial lawyer with specialization in personal injury and its myriad aspects, to bring light on the significance of a client's case. Even if the jurors and the other participants of a trial case may or may not understand it yet.
The Denver trial lawyer will make every effort in order to let them see your plight as sincerely as possible to thwart off the pre-conditioned thoughts on the minds of the jurors and the other participants. Your trial lawyer will also know how your case can be steered off the possible instances wherein the whole trial would become a terrible experience for you.
Here are the following general steps during trial wherein your Denver lawyer could have a hand in stressing the credence of your case.
Selection of jury or Voir Dire - the lawyers can do the jury selection according to the state's rules. In this process, the lawyer could be subjected to legal rules on what to ask the jurors. However, a brilliant trial lawyer would be highly skilled in knowing how to recognize the potential jurors with a pre-conditioned opinion about the case or with potential for prejudice and discrimination about your situation.
Opening statements - your lawyer, considered, as the Plaintiff's lawyer may be first to deliver his/her opening statements before the Defendant's lawyer or the lawyer for the person/entity you have sued.
If your Denver lawyer is highly competent and a persuasive and expressive speaker, to boot, then he/she can make your case stronger than it actually already is. It takes in-depth research for the trial lawyer to give a factual picture of your pain and suffering and not only move the jurors and the audience's emotions regarding your pitiful state.
Likewise, the witness presentation and cross-examinations up to the final arguments give your lawyer a good fighting chance to provide more emphasis on your injuries and its implications to you and your family's life.
You will be more vindicated in putting your stakes and trust an expert trial lawyer when the jury deliberation passed and they decided to give you the just compensation you are entitled to receive.
Crimes Against Justice
If a crime is classified as a crime against justice, it means that the crime was committed by interfering with law enforcement or government officials. Crimes against justice can include obstruction of justice, bribery of government officials, and lying under oath. If you destroy documents that are needed for a civil or criminal case, or hide or destroy other evidence, this can also be considered a crime against justice. If you have been charged with this type of crime, consult with a firm that has several Denver trial attorneys so you can find the best attorney for your needs.
An inchoate offense sounds complicated to understand, but it’s actually simple. An inchoate offense is when someone tries to commit a crime but is unable to carry out their intentions. Examples of inchoate offenses include conspiracy to commit murder, attempted theft, and acting as an accessory to a crime. If you are charged with an attempted crime, you cannot be charged for the actual crime itself. If you are charged with an inchoate offense, Denver trial attorneys can help you prepare your defense.
Crimes Against the Person
Crimes against the person are crimes that physically or emotionally injure someone or cause death. Good examples of crimes against the person are kidnapping, manslaughter, homicide, and rape. Crimes against the person are considered to be serious offenses, so you should immediately meet with Denver trial attorneys so you can select one to help you prepare your defense.
Crimes Against Property
Crimes against property are crimes involving property damage or the removal of property from its rightful owner. Examples of crimes against property include arson, larceny, burglary, and computer crimes. Many of these offenses are serious crimes and have serious criminal penalties for convicted offenders. If you have been charged with any crime against property, New Jersey trial attorneys should be your first line of defense.
Denver trial attorneys can be valuable sources of legal advice and make ideal advocates for defendants accused of any of the four types of crimes. If you have been charged with a crime against the person, crime against the property, crimes against justice, or an inchoate offense, work with a group of Denver trial attorneys to prepare a solid defense for your trial.
Are you looking for the best Denver trail attorney? Look no further, check out our Denver attorney website today!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
If you were keen on hiring one, most probably you would look up the county or city phonebook listings of PI attorneys. Whoa, much to your bewilderment, you behold such a lot of number offering their services. With this you are faced with the question - how do you find someone who is really an expert and not just someone claiming to be one?
Questions like what particular quality should you are looking for pop into your head. What questions should you address?
Here are some great tips on the things you have to know before you finally decide on the injury law firm or lawyer to hire:
1. Keep in mind that as a victim, the sooner you are able to hire a Denver lawyer the bigger advantage for you. You must start searching for the personal injury lawyer to offer expert help on your case before two weeks has passed by on the actual date of your accident.
If you are not able to launch the search yourself since your accident and because of disability, request a friend or family member to start the search for you. Discuss with them the qualities of those they have encountered.
Even the Denver lawyer will be aware of the necessity and urgency of building your PI case as soon as possible.
2. Select a PI lawyer based on the particular type of injury you have sustained. It is important to check out his or her length of experience and expertise in handling injury cases such as you are suffering.
Before you sign into the denver lawyer's retainer agreement, visit the law firm or lawyer's site first and read the history of the firm, the biographical profiles of its lawyers and other key information to help you judge the trustworthiness and expertise in handling your case.
Request for references and do not be ashamed to ask about the length of experience that they had undergone in handling injury cases similar to yours. Further, look up the settlement awards that the law firm/lawyer has won for their former clients on cases similar to yours.
3. Remember to conduct a personal meeting with your potential Denver lawyer. He / she will become your closest consultant during this complicated and stressing time of your life. Tune out your feelings towards him/her. You need to be comfortable around him / her and be able to trust and depend upon him / her.
This can be arranged by having a personal sit-down meeting with your attorney and discuss your case. A good injury lawyer even offers the initial consultation as a free service.
4. Also, make sure that the lawyer you will hire espouses the contingency fee system. It means that you will not be paying for the lawyers' services unless he / she win your case.
Be wise enough in choosing a reputable Denver Law Firm with expert Denver Attorneys to represent your case.